Not even after a consultant found it was overstaffed by 81% and recommended getting rid of the obsolete positions, work rules and classifications that has a horse-shoer on staff when the department has no horses.
The Detroit Free Press: Detroit City Council declines to vote on water department overhaul
The City Council this morning declined to vote on a controversial contract with a Minneapolis-based consultant proposing a massive overhaul of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, including a recommendation to get rid of 81% of its workforce and outsource hundreds of jobs.
The council held a public hearing on the proposal this morning, and opponents including unions, environmental activists and DWSD employees urged the city to reject the plan as an assault on Detroit’s right to determine what’s best for the department and its workers.
“There is nothing wrong with the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department that the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department can’t fix,” said Catherine Phillips, a staff representative for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 25. “I am sick and tired of this ‘sky is falling’ mentality that we’ve had ever since Mayor Dave Bing was elected.”
And of course the usual suspects claimed this was an attempt - by reducing unneeded staff to make it more efficient and functional, to seize Detroit's jewel.
When your City's jewel is a sewage treatment plant.....
“This is nothing but someone trying to grab the biggest asset of the city to benefit their own coffers,” [Council member] Watson said.
Look, when a consultant points out that you're overstaffed by 81% - including a horse-shoer when your department hasn't had horses in decades, you have a problem, and its not with someone trying to steal your jewels, its about facing reality and controlling the cozy union-politician featherbedding relationship that has helped drive Detroit into the ground.
When you have a huge debt, an inefficient workforce and twice the number of employees per gallon that another hotbed of corrupt featherbedding - Chicago - has, well, you're in a bad way.
And the Detroit City Clowncil collectively put its fingers in its ears and said "Nyah, Nyah can't hear you."
That, or they heard the word blacksmith and figured that eliminating a blacksmith position would be racist.